Nathan Algren: What do you want?
Katsumoto: To know my enemy.
Nathan Algren: I've seen what you do to your enemies.
Katsumoto: Warriors in your country do not kill?
Nathan Algren: They don't cut the heads off defeated, kneeling men.
Katsumoto: General Hasegawa asked me to help him end his life. A samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat. I was honored to cut off his head.
Katsumoto: And who was your general?
Nathan Algren: Don't you have a rebellion to lead?
Katsumoto: People in your country do not like conversation?
Nathan Algren: He was a lieutenant colonel. His name was Custer.
Katsumoto: I know this name. He killed many warriors.
Nathan Algren: Oh, yes. Many warriors.
Katsumoto: So he was a good general.
Nathan Algren: No. He wasn't a good general. He was arrogant and foolhardy. And he got massacred because he took a single battalion against two thousand angry Indians.
Katsumoto: Two thousand Indians? How many men for Custer?
Nathan Algren: Two hundred and eleven.
Katsumoto: I like this General Custer.
Nathan Algren: He was a murderer who fell in love with his own legend. And his troopers died for it.
Katsumoto: I think this is a very good death.
Nathan Algren: Well, maybe you can have one just like it someday.
Katsumoto: You have nightmares?
Nathan Algren: Every soldier has nightmares.
Katsumoto: Only one who is ashamed of what he has done.
Nathan Algren: You have no idea what I've done.
Katsumoto: You have seen many things.
Nathan Algren: I have.
Katsumoto: Yet you do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it. Is this not so?
Nathan Algren: Yes!
Katsumoto: I also. It happens to men who have seen what we have seen. But then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember. Like these blossoms, we are all dying. To know life in every breath, every cup of tea, every life we take. The way of the warrior....
Nathan Algren: Who sent those men to kill you? Was it the Emperor? Omura?
Katsumoto: If the Emperor wishes my death, he has but to ask.
Nathan Algren: So it was Omura.
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Nathan Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.
Katsumoto: What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?
Nathan Algren [smiling]: Dead to the last man.
Katsumoto: The Emperor could not hear my words. His army will come. For nine hundred years, my ancestors have protected our people. Now... I have failed them.
Nathan Algren: So you will take your own life? In shame? Shame for a life of service? Discipline? Compassion?
Katsumoto: The way of the Samurai is not necessary anymore.
Nathan Algren: Necessary? What could be more necessary?
Katsumoto: I will die by the sword. My own, or my enemy's.
Nathan Algren: Then let it be your enemy's.
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